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School of Charm

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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Who’s got time for hair curlers and high heels when you’re busy keeping baby turtles alive?

Chip has always been a tree-climbin’, fish-catchin’ daddy’s girl. When Daddy dies, Mama moves her and her sisters south to Grandma’s house and Chip struggles to find her place in a family full of beauty queens.

Just when she's wishing for a sign from Daddy that her new life’s going to
...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by Katherine Tegen Books
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Lisa A tomboy moves with her family to the South after the death of her father. Chip and the grandmother clash right away, and Chips's personality and…moreA tomboy moves with her family to the South after the death of her father. Chip and the grandmother clash right away, and Chips's personality and interests cause havoc among the family. Chip happens to find a school of charm where anyone who goes there gets help for what ails them. She receives a bracelet where the charm falls off when she has learned a lesson about herself. In her element in the gardens and outdoors, Chip learns how to fit in with her family as she enters a beauty pageant, despite not being a pageant type of girl.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.96  · 
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 ·  394 ratings  ·  90 reviews


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Melissa Landers
Sep 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2k14
A bittersweet story of self-discovery and healing, this book really hits you where it hurts. It will make you cry, not just a few tears here and there, but THE UGLY CRY. I'm still sniffling over here.

Shoshana
Sweet story. Brenda "Chip" Anderson's family moves to North Carolina in the late 1970s after the death of her father. They move in with her strict, Very Southern grandmother who appears to take an instant dislike to tomboy Chip. Her girlier sisters quickly get embroiled with beauty pageant prep, much to the grandmother and mother's delight, and Chip is very much the odd one out. She stumbles across a charm school won my a local woman; her two classmates are Dana, a young black girl determined to ...more
La La - Everyone's Crazy Aunt
A delightful, delicious, charming, heart-warming Middle Grade book with a message. It was like Steel Magnolias meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid wrapped up in Cinderella. This sounds so cliche, but I literally could not put it down, and I pulled one of my rare all nighters. The age range on this book is grades 3-7, but I feel it would be enjoyed by the YA crowd, as well. Also, if you think the readng level might be a little too much for your 3rd and 4th graders, it would make a fantastic "chapter a nig ...more
Sara Grochowski
Chip has always been a tomboy and daddy’s girl and she’s never felt even the littlest bit self conscious about it… until her father dies and her mother decides to move Chip and her two sisters down south to live with her mother, Chip’s grandma. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Grandma doesn’t at all approve of Chip, who’s entirely too much like her Yankee father. As her perfect sisters prepare for the annual Miss Dogwood pageant – a pageant both Chip’s mother and grandmother won a swell – ...more
Kimberly
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was at the library last week picking up more Rainbow Magic books for my daughter. I happened to glance up and spot this book displayed on top of a nearby shelf. The cover definitely caught my eye and the description had me intrigued so I spontaneously added it to our pile of books. I'm so glad I did. I very rarely read anything in the juvenile fiction section, but this book is a gem. Brenda "Chip" Anderson's father has recently passed away so her mother and two sisters move in with her very st ...more
Judy
Nov 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
School of Charm by Lisa Ann Scott
Eleven year old Brenda Anderson, better known as Chip, has just had life as she knew it taken away. She's always been Daddy's girl, enjoying the outdoors with him and her best friend Billy. An accident has changed that, taken her dad from her.

Her mom is moving their family from New York to North Carolina, to live with a grandma they don't know. What's worse is when they get there she feels more left out than before. Feeling like she needs to become someone she's
...more
Rick Iekel
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
While not my normal reading material, I really enjoyed it. Every family has its "doesn't quite fit" child - some more, some less. "School of Charm" is a wonderful story about just such a girl. I was cheering for "Chip" from her first face-off with her grandma. The author held my attention as if I was standing by "Chip's" side throughout the entire book.
Alyssa White
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
I normally don't read books for the younger generations but this was a gift to me as an ARC, an amazing surprise!

I loved this book and did not want to put it down! I was blessed to have a reading partner to buddy up with and discuss the book. Lisa Scott is an amazing author and this is just another great book to add to my collection! I felt like I was in the story with the way it was written!

I wish this book was out when I was younger because even as an adult I was able to open my eyes to self
...more
Krista O
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
School of Charm is about a girl who moved with her family to her grama's house. And everyone who lives in the house is a beauty pagent winner and Chip is a tomboy. She is now determined to win a pagent
I thought this book was really interesting and fun to read. I really enjoyed it because I felt like I could connect with the story. I recommend it for kids who fell like they don't fit in or for kids who like book that has suprises because this book has a lot of them!
Sabrina Bradley
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Read. I absolutely fell in love with this book...beautifully written. Was a heartwarming, tear-jerking, magical, and sometimes humorous read that is sure to touch the kid at heart in everyone...
♞ Pat Gent
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Middle school fiction is usually really good story-telling literature. The theme is always simple and straightforward, the characters are developed, and the settings are rich and descriptive. This book is typical of the genre. It's also just a good STORY.

Carolyn Jeziorski
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
School of Charm centers on Chip, a tomboy who recently lost her father and had to move from NY to NC. Her mother, two sisters, and she move in with her grandmother. Everyone except Chip is beauty pageant material. Chip is struggling to find her place in this new world without her father. She finds a School of Charm while wandering in the woods, where she meets two other girls.

The story has some “magical” elements to it, but it’s really a tale about a girl struggling with loss. Solid read for mi
...more
Zoe
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
i love the story line of this book. Its funny, sad, and wonderful it is a little bit of every thing. This book starts out with a girl and family driving to there grandmas house. They were going to there grandmas house because sadly her mom just became a widow. but when they get to the house the girl wonders off, and finds a charm school. As all of her sisters enter this pageant she fells left out and at the end of the day she just wants her dad back.
Deanna
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not quite sure about the rating on this one. I liked it ok, good issues from the 70's regarding females and race and family issues. I am just not a pagent kind of gal and this book was about pagents. I grabbed it off the shelf due to the cover, it was cute and catchy for young girls! Never judge a book by it's cover, haha!
Tina Wilson
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brooke read this and told me how much she loved it and then put it on my nightstand because, "You have to read it Mom!". A delightful JF novel about loss and family and learning to appreciate who you are, especially when you are different from everyone around you. Nice touch of magic as well.
Daisy Afroza
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
i just want to read...........
Maryam
Jan 18, 2018 rated it liked it
It was charming! I loved the adventures Chip. Though it was based on a pretty old year. ❤❤❤❤❤ ...more
Lulu
Moving to a new place is always a little scary but after the recent death of her father, Chip is having a hard time. As an outdoors nature type of girl beauty pageants have not been Chip’s thing but in her new home a beauty pageant has quickly become the only thing to her family.

This is a story about family, beauty and hope. It will pull on your heartstrings. I greatly enjoyed this book.
Aeicha
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I went into Lisa Ann Scott’s School of Charm expecting a simple, cutesy middle-grade story, but was pleasantly surprised by this story’s depth, heart, and captivating exploration of grief, love, and acceptance. Heartfelt and hopeful, fun and exciting, School of Charm is an enchanting story.

Chip has always been a daddy’s girl and tomboy, choosing to explore the outdoors and climb trees over makeup and clothes. But when her daddy dies, Chip, her two sisters, and her mother move to NC to live with
...more
Cecily Kyle
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: uno, favorites
I totally did not expect to love this story but I absolutely did. I found it easy to get lost in and I was even emotional at times. so much heartache but such good lessons.
Great Read!
Angie
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Brenda "Chip" Anderson's world has come crashing down. Her beloved daddy has died and taken the world she knew away with him. Chip used to spend her days outside exploring nature and climbing trees with her daddy and best friend Billy. Now mama is moving the family from New York to North Carolina to live with a grandma they have never met. Chip's sisters Charlene and Ruthie immediately fit in with the Southern belle pageant atmosphere of grandma's house. Grandma was Miss Dogwood 1939 and mama wa ...more
Ashley
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, blog, arc, alamw-2014, 2014own
Originally posted here

Although this book took awhile to get into, it quickly warmed a place into my heart. It is the story of Chip, who very clearly does not fit in. She is told this repeatedly by her mother, her older sister, her grandmother. Everyone spends their time around Chip telling her she shouldn’t be there. And while the book is painful, it is also real.

Taking place in 1977, Scott takes the reader to the 1970s. With Chip as a narrator the reader comes to see how close Chip was with her
...more
Susan
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth-ya
We read this (actually the ARC) with our 8 1/2 year old, and it was wonderful.

For my sensitive girl, parts of this book were a stretch emotionally. She isn't used to books with family conflict and a tragedy that sparks the story (the family moves South to Grandma's because the dad dies, and Chip doesn't fit in with the beauty-pageant culture of the rest of the family). But every night she couldn't wait until reading time, and not infrequently she would read ahead during the day because she want
...more
Tirzah
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up, thinking it would be a story of magic. Instead, it was a book on a more serious, realistic level as a girl learns to overcome grief, change, and social/racial tensions. These themes are good and I enjoy reading about them, but since I had my mind on magic, I was a little disappointed. Nevertheless, School of Charm held some good aspects and some that were mediocre.

Good aspects: Chip, the protagonist and narrator, grows in various ways throughout the story. The readers see
...more
Ms. Yingling
May 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
In 1977, Brenda "Chip" Anderson's father has passed away, and her mother moves with Chip and her sisters from New York to North Carolina to live with Chip's grandmother. Grandmother is very particular about appearances and very interested in getting Chip's sisters to compete in a beauty pageant. Chip is too much of a tomboy, but when she is exploring her new neighborhood, she happens upon Miss Vernie's School of Charm. Karen and Dana are part of it, and their lessons consist more of working in M ...more
Kara Rae Garland
Apr 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
I'm not sure how to rate this book. For the most part, it is a sweet story, but there is some questionable race relation stuff within it, like the black girl's "big lips" and the main character's weird fixation on her. I get that she is supposed to be a white girl who doesn't know how to relate to black people, but I wasn't entirely comfortable with the author's depiction of that situation.

Regardless of that discomfort, a lot of what she wrote rang true, like the main character and her grandmot
...more
Kate
This was a cute middle-grade read with hints of magical realism. In 1977, Chip is the misfit tomboy middle child in a family full of girly-girls. After her father dies, she feels like no one understands her, and to make matters wore, their family moves to North Carolina to live with their grandmother. Grandma, an aging beauty queen like their mother, fawns all over the eldest and youngest sisters, but is harsh and unforgiving toward tomboyish Chip. That's when Chip decides to take a walk and see ...more
Aylea
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
After Chips’s daddy dies, she and her Mama and sisters move to Mount Airy, Carolina, to live with her grandmother. All her sisters, mother, and grandmother care about is competing in pageants, but Chip is a tomboy and would rather be playing outside in mud than dressing up. One day when she is outside exploring, she sees a sign for Miss Vernie’s School of Charm. The charm school is supposed to teach her lessons on pageants and life. After spending some time at the school, Chip decides to enter t ...more
Kristen
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ncc-books
Eleven-year-old Brenda Anderson, better known as Chip, has always been a daddy’s girl. After Daddy dies, Chip, her mom and two sisters must move down south to their grandmother’s house in Mount Airy. Grandmother Nancy was Miss North Carolina in 1939 and Chip’s mother was runner-up in 1961. Chip’s sisters, Charlene and Ruthie will both enter the Miss Dogwood 1977 pageant. While out exploring the area, in order to escape from all the pageant plans in the house, Chip sees a sign for Miss Vernie’s S ...more
Suzanne
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, middle-grade
A sweet yet poignant tale of loss and new beginnings for an 11 year old middle child, her two sisters and recently widowed mother. The daughters aren't supposed to talk about their recently deceased father because it is too painful, for them and especially for their mother. Yet they leave their NY home and friends behind and trek south to Mt. Airy, NC to the grandmother they've never met. Chip, our protagonist, can't seem to fit in anywhere, and misses her father painfully. This story recounts h ...more
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